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Date: 14-04-2013: This wasn’t a game that Western Railways won. It was a game that Maharashtra lost. Abysmal team shooting by Maharashtra through the entire duration of the match destroyed any hopes they might have harboured about winning this game. They shot an atrocious 35% from the field, 29% from the 3 point arc and 50% from the free throw line.

Another prominent factor that worked against the home side was the huge mismatch in rebounding on both ends of the floor. Western Railways were served well down low by no. 14 Jaskaran Singh and no. 12 Ankit, who literally dwarfed their opposition counterparts. This size advantage led WR to a staggering 50 to 26 scoring differential in the paint and a 14 to 0 difference in second chance points.

All of these factors led to the landslide margin of WR’s victory, which led by 15 at the half and finally ended up with a 25 point winning margin. For the WR team, India international Prakash Mishra (7) showed his class, scoring 33 points to go along with his 9 boards. Centre Jaskaran Singh (14) chipped in with 17 points.

“We lacked in bench strength and height. Only 5 to 6 of our players are regular players. 2 to 3 of our best players from the Navy, and a couple of our players from Pune didn’t turn up. We only had 1 day of camp.”

–          Maharashtra Coach Antar Pal Singh, explaining his team’s poor outing

“They are a young side. Lack of concentration while taking shots caused them to miss. We were mentally prepared that we must win.”

–          Prakash Mishra, the veteran WR Point Guard refuses to read too much into their win, knowing tougher tests against Indian Overseas Bank and Indian Air Force await

Highlight Plays

No. 7 Prakash Mishra, the Railways and India veteran, tried to run down the clock in order to take the final shot at the end of the first quarter. Just as he made his move, his drive was thwarted and the defense stole the ball away. Amit Gahlot (9) of Maharashtra lay-ed the ball just as the buzzer went off.

Sometime in the second quarter, Prakash Mishra made a quick turn table to shake off his defender. He then stutter stepped and blew past the next defender, only to miss the open layup. But he recovered in time to collect his own rebound and score.

Thumbs up

The defensive energy of both teams in the first quarter, with strong physical games on display.

Thumbs Down

Terrible shooting % of both teams in the first quarter, missing wide open jumpers and layups. At the end of Q1, the scores read a lowly 14-12 in favour of WR.

Maharashtra’s shooting woes continued throughout the game (35% FG, 29% 3Pt, 50% FTs). These bricks silenced the spectators as well, who reserved their most vociferous cheers whenever Maharashtra actually converted a basket.

Maharasthra’s players appeared rushed, chaotic and out of sync from the first to the final whistle. No attempt was made to create quality plays. It is possible that playing in front of the home crowd had them in jitters.

Turnovers: While both teams were guilty of it, WR had 8 TOs as against Maharashtra’s 3. WR compensated though by dominating the boards (57% of the overall rebounds).

This event’s coverage is also available on the official Ramu Memorial website.

Gopalakrishnan R
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